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flush redden blush

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by marcolo, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. marcolo

    marcolo Senior Member

    Bordeaux, France
    France, french
    These three verbs mean "rougir" in french, but what are the differences between those verbs ? If I say

    The girl's face reddened
    The girl's face blushed
    The girl's face flushed

    Is it exactly the same thing ?
  2. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    1. Her face turned red (nearly always synonymous of blushing).
    2. Her cheeks turned red.
    3. I don't think we say this. "Flushed" is generally an adjective => The girl's face was flushed. Again, the meaning is much the same as both "blushed" and "reddened".

    They're usually exactly the same thing, yes.
  3. LARSAY Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Blushing = becoming pink or slightly red
    Reddening = becoming really red
    "Flushing" is wrong English : it's not the face which flushes, it is the blood, which rushes -flushes- on the face, thus causing the blush or reddening
  4. VoiciMaintenantLeJour New Member

    United States, English
    I would say that although the 3 verbs are similar in meaning, they are not used exactly the same way.

    Regarding "to redden:" you could say "the girl's face reddened" or "the girl reddened," which means that the girl's face became red/pink. You would likely say this to describe someone who has become angry, surprised, or embarrassed.

    As far as "to blush," you would not generally say "the girl's face blushed." Rather, you would say "The girl blushed." Like "to redden," when you say that someone blushed, you are saying that their face became red/pink. However, in contrast to "to redden" you would not use "blush" to describe someone who is angry. When you say that someone has blushed, you are usually referring to the fact that they have become embarrassed.

    Flushed: like "redden," you could say "the girl's face flushed," or "the girl became flushed," or "the girl flushed [red or bright red]." Like both "redden" and "blush," this means that the person's face has turned pink/red. It could be used to talk about someone who is embarrassed, angry, surprised, or tired (like after exercising).

    So I would say that "redden" and "flush" are practically the same and are used the same way, but "blush" is different, because you cannot say "the girl's face blushed," and because when you talk about someone blushing, you are usually talking about someone who is embarrassed.
  5. LARSAY Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    NO, "redden" and "blushing" are NOT "practically the same": as I said already, blushing is a mild reaction, where your cheeks become pink or sligthly red, reddening a strong one, like when you become absolutely furious

    The contrary is the same by the way : Becoming pale -palir- (slightly less blood on the face) and becoming white -devenir livide- (getting a really white face)
  6. VoiciMaintenantLeJour New Member

    United States, English
    Sorry about that - I guess I didn't know my answer would be so offensive. I was just trying to highlight the fact that the three words have different connotations e.g. you would be more likely to use "blush" to talk about someone who is embarrassed; "flush" can be used to talk about someone whose face is red because they've just run several miles, whereas "blush" cannot be, etc. However, I DON'T think that the difference between "blushing" and "reddening" is that reddening means you are becoming more red. I've never seen anything in an English dictionary that would tell me that's true, and that's not the way it's used.
  7. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    Be that as it may, Larsay (I don't doubt you), I'm not sure how many English speakers would make this distinction.

    My take is that the two are generally interchangeable. Also, your face can redden in other areas than the cheek, whereas of course blushing tends to refer to one getting rosy cheeks and nothing else.

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